Shanghai - Rotterdam 40 years sister city relationship

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In 2019 Rotterdam and Shanghai celebrate their 40th sister city anniversary. A time for Rotterdam to reflect on what we have achieved, but also a great opportunity to deepen and broaden the relations. During this special mission to Shanghai from 11-14 June, led by Ahmed Aboutaleb, Mayor of Rotterdam, we explored opportunities on the Chinese market and celebrated this special occasion together. The extensive program included matchmaking event(s), seminars, company visits, a trade reception and networking events.

Shanghai - Rotterdam 40 years sister city relationship

Looking back on this mission

The recent trade mission to Shanghai was an opportunity to celebrate a special occasion; the 40th sister city anniversary between our two cities, Shanghai and Rotterdam. The entire mission took place in a very positive atmosphere, with delegates and participants from both cities showing eagerness to intensify and deepen relations and find new opportunities for collaboration.

This is one of the main reasons for organising foreign economic missions. They help maintain and reinforce ties between countries and cities in economic, social, governmental, educational and cultural sense. The delegation for the 40 Years Shanghai Rotterdam mission reflected this broad scope and included participants from many aspects of urban life: local governments, education and research, cultural and of course various entrepreneurs and companies. Rotterdam Partners is proud to have contributed to forming such a varied and high level delegation for this Shanghai mission.

Looking back on this mission to Shanghai I can truly say that we achieved and even exceeded our goals. Contacts were established and strengthened on governmental level. The renewal of the Memorandum of Understanding between Rotterdam and Shanghai was formalised with an official signing by mayors Aboutaleb (Rotterdam) and Mr. Ying Yong (Shanghai). Other MoUs were signed by various Rotterdam delegation members with their Chinese counterparts during this mission, including ROC Zadkine and Rotterdam University of Applied Science (with Shanghai University of Medicine and Health Sciences), Erasmus University Rotterdam (with Shanghai Jiao Tong University), KLG-ITM (with Lanzhou Rail Department), Erasmus MC (with Harbour BioMed). Many new trade contacts were established and some 15 contracts were signed. These results and the positive atmosphere during the entire mission are testament to the potential social and economic value that can come from collaboration between public bodies, companies and knowledge institutes.

I would like to thank all the delegation members of this Shanghai Rotterdam 40 Years mission and the people that helped make this mission a success. Let’s make sure this is not the end of a journey, but the start of new collaborations and continued exchange of knowledge and expertise, creating opportunities in both cities. Later this year a delegation led by one of the vice mayors of Shanghai will visit Rotterdam and provide a  follow to the recent visit to Shanghai, undoubtedly leading to new contacts and opportunities. Rotterdam Partners is already looking forward to that.

Wilbert Lek
Manager International Trade & Investment, Rotterdam Partners

Mission highlights

Kankan News report on the signing of various Memorandums of Understanding

Kanka News report on the signing of Memorandums of Understanding in Shanghai #shangahirotterdam40

Shanghai’s Radio and Television News Network Kankan News published an item about the mission, showing mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb and Wilbert Lek (Manager International Trade & Investment at Rotterdam Partners) signing Memorandums of Understanding with various organisations. Please click the image or click here to view this news item.

Program and sector focus

This mission provided opportunities for the Dutch business community to create, maintain and strengthen new, current and existing business partners in China. The program was divided into four sectors: High-Tech Materials & Systems; Life Sciences & Health; Port, Maritime & Logistics; Sustainability & Resilience.

Click here to open/download the up-to-date program for this mission.

Photos on this page: Gerhard van Roon, Kunst & Vliegwerk, Nick Staal. Header picture under license of CC.

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